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Assessment: Developing your Leadership Philosophy
Today, the term philosophy often refers to the study of the origins and nature of a particular body of knowledge. A leadership philosophy is a statement of how you see yourself with respect to the context of leadership. This philosophy will influence your behaviours and thoughts regarding leadership. Although our philosophies are influenced by both external and internal forces, leadership philosophies reflect peoples’ values, beliefs and experiences related to leadership. A leadership philosophy can (and most likely will) change for a person as he/she grows and gains experience in different contextual settings. We suggest you use the following as a guide to help you develop your leadership philosophy (Please note: much of this has been completed in class e.g. personal values, assumptions, and beliefs etc.):
Personal best leadership experience ( I was a boarding captain at… school then you can make up the rest)
- Briefly describe the context/situation of this experience (e.g., what was going on, who was there, when was it, how did things turn out).
- List the most important actions or behaviours (i.e. 5 – 6) that you took as a leader in this situation. In other words, what did you do that made a difference in this situation?
- What words would you use to describe this experience? List as many as you can think of that apply.
- How did this experience affect your understanding of leadership and/or your subsequent leadership behaviour?
Personal inspiration or inspirational leader
- Who was this person and what was the nature of the relationship between the two of you?
- What specific traits or behaviours do you recall as being most characteristic of this individual?
- What impact did this person have on you as a leader? What lesson did you learn?
- What did this person want or expect from you?
- How do you feel about this person now? What would you like to say to this person now as you think back on your experience with him or her?
Information for writer to write.
- My father (name) …. ( I will put my dad name myself)
- When he was a commissioner of Metropolitan police back in 2011, there was 2 groups of protester red and yellow shirt, he had to command more than 20,000 policemen. I saw him on TV not just commanding policemen but he was actually there with along side with all the policemen. This show me he have determination and high leadership because with his position he don’t have to be there he can sit and command, but he should to be there with them as well as whenever there is an issue he always put his name up first before him men, he will protect his men when there are people saying bad things to his men.
- From that incident it show me that to be a successful leader you need to be good to your men don’t treat your subordinator bad jus because you are higher position than them, just like when you building a house you need a solid foundation otherwise the house going to clasp.
- Be a good man do whatever you what to do as long as you are not breaking the law and not violate others people right.
5.He is my hero and I want to make him proud of me, I will followed his step just like my older brother did.
Personal values, assumptions, and beliefs
Personal values are qualities or characteristics that you value in yourself. Most people would rather leave an organization or step down as a leader than violate their most important personal values. Your values guide your intentions, perceptions and behaviours. Most importantly to this context, they influence how you lead and follow. When your personal values are clear and you are conscious of them, it provides a solid foundation for leading. Think about the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) that you took and complete the following steps. What are your most important values and what do they mean to you? What role can each of those values play in enacting your understanding of leadership? You can expand the table below to include as many values as you wish.
List your values here
|Personal Values Definition
Define your values here
|How do you see your values influencing your leadership?|
Assumptions are ideas that are assumed or believed to be true. As a leader it is important to understand what assumptions affect your leadership thinking. Often leaders are not aware of the assumptions because they are operating from certain paradigms that will not allow them to see assumptions. Reflection into one’s leadership is an excellent way to uncover assumptions.
- First, reflect on your personal best leadership experience and your inspirational leader. You can also think about a personal worst experience and worst leader as well. Just like bosses, we can sometimes learn the most from the extreme experiences at either end of the continuum. For each of the questions in this section, ask yourself:
- What were my assumptions?
- What influenced my assumptions?
- Would others (co-workers, friends, supervisors) see the situations and people I described differently?
- Next, write down your definition of leadership.
- When you are finished, review and reflect on your definition and identify the assumptions that are implicit in it. They may not be readily apparent. It might also be helpful to have someone else read your definition and then ask them what assumptions they can identify.
Beliefs are ideas that we hold to be true; they shape our perception of reality. If a leader believes that the only individuals in an organization who can make decisions are the management staff members, then that belief will influence how the leader treats others. Beliefs can also be unconscious; they are our habitual ways of thinking and acting that may be inhibiting our effectiveness. Answer the following questions about your leadership beliefs. Reflecting upon these questions (not merely answering them) will help you clarify the beliefs you hold about leadership.
- Should leaders have certain qualities to be able to lead? What are they?
- Who decides who leads? Who decides who follows?
- Does leadership have been be done by a single person or can it be done by more than one person?
- What is it that leaders actually do?
- What role do followers play in leadership?
- What factors in the situation are most likely to affect leadership?
- How do leaders gain credibility?
- What do you think is the purpose for leadership?
- In general, is there something good about leadership?
- Can people who have caused others harm be leaders, e.g. Adolph Hitler?
- Is leadership behaviour developed through personal experiences or through external forces?
For each of the questions above, write down one statement that best illustrates your belief about that question. For example, if you answered #8 with: “The purpose of leadership is to provide vision, guidance, and bring people together for a common good. It unites people and gets them to join together for a goal”, then your belief statement might be stated as: “I believe that leadership provides a vision to create a common good”. Write a statement for each question. You will use these statements in combination with the other activities to create your philosophy of leadership.
Now that you’ve identified your leadership values, uncovered your leadership assumptions and understood what beliefs guide your leadership thinking, you are now ready to write statements reflecting your leadership philosophy. Your leadership philosophy should be a statement that consists of your responses from the above exercise. It does not have to include everything, but it should encompass the general idea of what you’ve written. We suggest that you reflect on the above guidelines exercises to write a narrative or essay that gradually unfolds your leadership philosophy (please note, while the term narrative is used here your writing needs to be scholarly).
As you unfold your leadership philosophy you are required to make reference to the existing leadership literature to support you observations and arguments. You also need to identify which theory (or theories) of leadership your philosophy most aligns with (e.g. Charismatic leadership, situational leadership, autocratic leadership, participative leadership, distributed leadership etc. etc.) and why. You are also required to reflect upon the critique of the theory (or theories) of leadership (all theories are subject to critique) and then discuss how you intend to address this critique within your philosophy of leadership.
With the above in mind your leadership philosophy might adhere to the following structure:
- Introduction, this simply needs to be an introduction to your paper that outlines what you are about to discuss
- Reflecting on my personal best leadership experience
- Personal inspiration or inspirational leader/s
- My personal values, assumptions and beliefs about leadership
- My Philosophy most aligns with …….. because ……
- Critical insights that I need to consider
Your paper should be no more than 2,000 words in length (not including your reference list or any appendices that you might wish to attach). This means you must write with clarity and stick to the key points that demonstrate your leadership philosophy and how you have identified and intend to address any potential critique.
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